Frozen Ever After Wait Times and FastPass+ Availability – Summer 2017 Edition

This is the fourth edition of our look at Frozen Ever After wait times at Epcot. It’s sort of a random topic, but I had been tweeting some screenshots of conspicuously low wait times at Epcot’s newest ride, so I thought it would be prudent to take a wider look rather than focusing on a single anecdote.

To see how far we’ve come, this post covers Frozen’s opening and wait times over the first couple of weeks. It wasn’t pretty. This post is an update from October of last year. Then this post from late February covers the first seven or eight weeks of this year.

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Above is the chart from those first 50 days of 2017 with the overall average wait of 68 minutes. At that time, I noted that while the ride was still down at some point on 62% of days, that the total daily downtime had been reduced from 100.7 minutes (or 13.7% of the time) during the summer of 2016 compared to 56.6 minutes (or 7.7% of the time) over the first 50 days of 2017. That’s a meaningful reduction.

Below is where we’re at since June:

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There’s some good news here. First, wait times build much slower in the morning than they had earlier in the year.  The average wait at 11am is just 40 minutes, which is considerably lower than other newer rides like Avatar Flight of Passage or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The 68-minute overall average wait is the same as what we saw over January and the first three weeks of February, though if I included wait times during Extra Magic Hours in the chart, that number would drop to 66 minutes. And that’s perhaps as low as it’s going to go for the foreseeable future. With the maximum number of FastPass+ experiences being distributed daily, it only takes about 350 people in standby for the standby wait to hit 60 minutes. Actual wait times with FastPass+ still hover around eight minutes.

The ride is also down at Park close on just four out of the last 40 days, which means that you’d have to be very unlucky to run into downtime on two consecutive nights. I bring this up because standby waits are typically around 20 minutes for those able to get in line a couple of minutes before the Park closes, even if the standby wait is still posted at 40+ minutes.

On the negative side of the coin, overall ride downtime is more common, occurring on a whopping 40 out of the last 50 days, or 80% of the time. Average daily downtime is also up to 9.3% or 68.4 minutes per day. That’s about 12 more minutes than earlier this year.

On the plus side, FastPass+ availability is much better than it has been at any point since the ride debuted last year. Looking out about two weeks, there are plenty of evening slots for two people. When looking for a party of five people, six slots are offered, so you wouldn’t have much trouble overlapping times for larger parties, either.

Here’s Epcot wait times from Monday July 10th:

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This is a fairly standard summer day so far this year, though the three hours of downtime at Test Track in the morning aren’t helping things, in addition to about three hours in the evening. It remains strange seeing 60+ minute waits at Spaceship Earth as well. But most of the secondary attractions are walk-ons for most of the day though we do see some spikes between 11am and 1pm.

Larger: Here.

Even July 4th, a day that you would think would be pretty bonkers given the holiday, evening Extra Magic Hours, and the once-a-year Independence Day tag on IllumiNations, sees largely nominal waits, though it will likely be the busiest day of the summer.

Here’s a look at Soarin’ waits since June 1st:

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Average waits for the day in the 35-45 minute range are pretty telling of just how low attendance is at Epcot these days. Just three days after the July 4th holiday, and a Friday to boot, the average wait is just 33 minutes. And it’s only three minutes longer on the Saturday following.

Here’s October of last year:

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Over the last 31 days, from June 10th through July 10th, Soarin’s average wait time for the day is over 60 minutes on only two dates. During October, it was over 60 minutes on at least ten dates. It’s just one attraction, but it paints a pretty clear picture of how much higher wait times are in October versus the heart of the summer and how much traffic the Food and Wine Festival pushes towards Epcot. Over the last ten years, Epcot attendance has grown the slowest of Disney World’s four major theme parks both in terms of total visitors and as a percentage.

The refresh probably can’t come fast enough.

So that’s where we’re at with Epcot. It seems like wait times have normalized at Frozen Ever After with more FastPass+ availability and wait times that should average around an hour. It also appears like the number of people racing to the ride in the morning has been reduced significantly. That’s good news for anyone planning on visiting Epcot in the near future. And we’ll always have Colortopia.

Comments

  1. Anna says

    I don’t know why, but I really love these articles. I think it’s something about the percentages, just how very satisfying it is seeing them taken apart and made sense of. Keep it up please!

  2. ex007 says

    Josh, you are just teasing those of us coming in October. All this talk of little to no wait times in June and July has set my expectations for October sky high. Yet I know waits will double once we arrive because, well, that’s just how my luck goes.

    • DwarfPlanet says

      That’s what happened to us, figuring October last year to be slow and it was the most crowded I had seen it in awhile. Hopefully you will have better luck this year.

  3. Heather says

    Thanks for the really interesting analysis. Do you think crowds will continue to be this low through the end of August or do you expect attendance will pick up at the end of the summer?

  4. Curtis says

    Just got back from WDW and was at Epcot on Sat (7/8) and it was almost spooky how low crowds were. Minus a few very large tour groups, it was just about walk on for everything and easy strolling through World Showcase. We may stick to July from now on.

  5. Sharon says

    We were in Epcot on Saturday, July 8 and were surprised at the low crowds. We walked onto Frozen at 10:30 am (with no FP+) and then rode a second time. On and off twice in 25 minutes! What??!!

  6. Miriam says

    Great stats! Thank you Josh, this information comes in very handy for my trip to WDW next week. In regards to Frozen Ever After, the kids and I were not impressed when we visited last year. Perhaps all the hype leading to it raised our expectations too much. It’s not on any of our FP+ picks and if the line is short, maybe we will revisit. I’m not sure how the majority feel about the ride, but I for one am okay with skipping it. If others feel the same way, I can see why the lines are shorter and there are more FP+ availability.

  7. dusty cheatham says

    I for one am SICK of frozen. nothing wrong with me mind you . I don’t have a little girl . maybe it is like the same team ….. fill in the blank winning every year in sports. you develop a hate for them . for me it seems like a lot of time & money was spent on a ride with not much to show for it . to me some of the funniest photos was of josh waiting in the meet & greet of the 2 princess of frozen.

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